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items tagged with Raising Arizona

Kitten Caboodle: "Keanu," "Ratchet & Clank," and "Mother’s Day"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2016-05-01 15:42:24

Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele in KeanuKEANU

One of the most revered sketches from Comedy Central’s Key & Peele – the sublime Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele series that ended its five-year run in September – is titled “Phone Call.” In it, Key stands at a street corner talking with his wife on his phone, sweetly promising to take her to the theatre. Out of a nearby building walks Peele in a black jacket and baggy jeans, dialing his own cell as he approaches the crosswalk. The men make fleeting, wary eye contact, and after they do, Key’s yuppie, assuming the role of street tough, resumes his conversation substituting “dem” for “them” and “dat” for “that,” and telling his wife, “I’mo’ pick yo’ ass up at 6:30, den!” Peele, who began his own phone convo with “’Sup, dawg?”, gives Key a nod of recognition and crosses the street. But the instant Key is out of earshot, Peele’s own tough-guy façade crumbles with his phone friend. “Oh my God, Christian,” he says with swishy panic, “I almost totally just got mugged right now!”

In many ways, Keanu, the first movie to boast Key and Peele as headliners, is like a feature-length, action-comedy take on that classic sketch – a tale of two mild-mannered suburbanites forced to adopt “street” poses and lingo to placate the sensibilities, or survive the wrath, of other blacks. The bitingly funny, incisive joke of “Phone Call,” however, took 47 seconds to tell, punchline and all. Keanu, by contrast, lasts just over an hour and a half, and both the joke and its capper are pretty much old news after the first 15 minutes. Without question, there are plenty of hilarious moments throughout, and the sharp-witted leads exude spectacular confidence and charisma. (I’m sure I’ll regret saying this someday, but at present, it’s unimaginable that any Key and Peele showcase wouldn’t be at least slightly worth viewing.) Yet you can have a pretty good time at director Peter Atencio’s big-screen debut and still wish – despite its stars, its concept, and the cutest damned kitten you’ve ever seen – that you were having a much better one.
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Hello. My Name Is Mattie Ross. You Killed My Father. Prepare to Die.: “True Grit” and “Yogi Bear”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2010-12-23 17:43:50

Jeff Bridges and Hailee Steinfeld in True GritTRUE GRIT

Over the course of their careers, the films of Joel and Ethan Coen have, of course, inspired a wide variety of responses: amusement (and quite a lot of it), excitement, fascination, terror, confusion, astonishment, mortification. (Oh, the depressing spectacle of Intolerable Cruelty ... .) But while we audiences have laughed and gasped and occasionally scratched our heads, we haven’t, prior to the Coen brothers’ True Grit, been moved to tears by scenes of unbridled yet honestly earned sentiment. Guess we can now scratch that one off the list, too.

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Bombs Away: "Funny People," "The Hurt Locker," and "G-Force"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2009-08-03 12:57:48

Adam Sandler and Leslie Mann in Funny PeopleFUNNY PEOPLE

Leslie Mann, the wife of comedy kingpin Judd Apatow, is unfailingly awesome, and I love her in her husband's first two outings as a film writer/director: 2005's The 40-Year-Old Virgin and 2007's Knocked Up. So it pains me to say that I would've enjoyed Apatow's third auteurist venture - the current Funny People - a whole lot more if Mann's character had been excised from it completely. Of course, that would've made the movie almost a full hour shorter than it is. That would've been all right, too.

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Make ’Em Laugh: "Shoot 'Em Up"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2007-09-12 08:27:41

Paul Giamatti and Clive Owen in Shoot 'Em UpSHOOT 'EM UP

Frequently unpleasant and almost pathologically violent, Michael Davis' action thriller Shoot 'Em Up is a joke, and the film's biggest detriment is that is takes too long for it to be an intentional one.

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